Silverstone: Michelin qualifying report

MICHELIN TAKES TOP NINE POSITIONS AT SILVERSTONE! The No.8 Peugeot -Michelin will start from pole position in Sunday's Silverstone 1000 km after Stephane Sarrazin set the fastest time during qualifying this afternoon....

MICHELIN TAKES TOP NINE POSITIONS AT SILVERSTONE!

The No.8 Peugeot -Michelin will start from pole position in Sunday's Silverstone 1000 km after Stephane Sarrazin set the fastest time during qualifying this afternoon. It will share the front row with the other Peugeot, car No.7, driven by Nicolas Minassian and Marc Gene, while the two Audis will start from row two. It promises to be a close battle between the two manufacturers who are fighting to secure the Le Mans Series title this weekend.

In the LMP2 category, top spot went to the Jos Verstappen/Jeroen Bleekemolen pairing, who will start from 8th position overall, while the IBP Spartak Racing Lamborghini set fastest time in GT1.

In GT2, where Michelin supplies its partners with tyres from its commercial range, the French manufacturer set second-fastest time with the No.76 Porsche 997 of Team Imsa Performance Matmut.

Michelin partners claimed the top nine spots on the grid.

Matthieu Bonardel (Manager of Michelin(s Four-wheel Competition Programme, Michelin):

A tricky tyre choice...

"Today's tyre selection was very tricky given the poor weather conditions that we've encountered since the start of the weekend. At no point did we have a dry circuit and optimum grip conditions throughout a session. The teams gradually reached their own decisions on tyre choice and while some are daring and others more conservative, they're certainly very different. Furthermore, as qualifying was held on a relatively 'green' circuit with low grip levels, we possess comparatively little information for the race. It means we'll be relying on our past experience of this circuit, and the data collected at other races this season."

Stints

"We have some doubts as to how well the teams have been able to set -up their cars, and therefore as to whether the tyres will be able to last for double stints with a less-than-perfect set-up. Poor car balance could prove very costly at this circuit, which is particularly demanding for the tyres."

Soft, medium-- and a mixture of the two

"In LMP1, there are some widely varying choices of soft or medium compounds, and combinations of the two. In LMP2, we will use medium and soft compounds, although certain teams will probably go for familiar choices. Generally, the LMP2 teams have taken relatively few risks in order to avoid any nasty surprises, while the LMP1 have been more audacious. In GT1 too, some cars seem to have chosen suitable combinations of tyre compounds. As for GT2, using our commercial tyre range, we are continuing development of our latest solutions and we will try to achieve sufficient competitiveness to help our teams to clinch the championship. We are severely lacking in mileage on this new tyre and as we will be starting in less-than-ideal conditions, we are prepared for good - and bad - surprises--"

Rain

"For the first time of season, rain has disrupted our race weekend and gave us the opportunity to test several types of grooved tyres, different for every car. We encountered extremely wet track conditions, then a drying track with wet patches on the straights. These conditions caused aquaplaning for the prototypes that weren't using 'cut' tyres. In contrast, cars that were running 'cuts' atthe same time achieved a strong level of performance. If it rains tomorrow, it will once again be a case of using the right tyre, at the right time, according to the amount of water out there on the circuit."

-credit: michelin

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Nicolas Minassian , Marc Gene , Stéphane Sarrazin